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James Rowland Angell (1869 - 1949) was an American psychologist and educator. He served as the president of Yale University between 1921 and 1937. His father, James Burrill Angell (1829-1916), was president of the University of Vermont from 1866 to 1871 and then the University of Michigan from 1871 to 1909.

James Angell was elected APA President in 1906.


James Rowland Angell was born on May 8, 1869, in Burlington, Vermont where his father was the president of the University of Vermont. He was the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister. It was there where James grew up, went to school, and attended college. His parents were both devoted Christians and therefore, religion was a profound part of his life at home. His grandfather, Alexis Caswell, was a professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Brown University and a charter member of the National Academy of Sciences, which may be a hereditary explaination of his attraction towards education and science.

James graduated from the University of Michigan with his Bachelor's Degree in 1890. Then in 1892, he received his Masters from Harvard University in psychology. After a study abroad, he taught at the University of Minnisota, and then at the University of Chicago, where he became president and head of the psychology department in 1905. Later, James served as president of Yale University from 1921 unitl he retired in 1937. In 1937, he became educational counselor of the National Broadcasting Company.

In 1894, James married Marion Isabel Watrous from Des Moines, Iowa, a fellow graduate of the University of Michigan. He had two children with her, one boy and one girl, but then she passed away in 1931. He subsequently married Katharine Cramer Woodman, who brought great joy to his life because of the interest she took in his students and problems.

Professional contribution

He was one of the main proponents of the of "Chicago School;" of functionalist psychologists

Preceded by:
Mary W. Calkins
Presidents of APA
Succeeded by:
Henry R. Marshall

See also



  • Angell, J.R. Psychology: An Introductory Study of the Structure and Function of Human Consciousness
  • Angell, J.R. Chapters from Modern Psychology
  • Angell, J.R. The Influence of Darwin on Psychology (part of a larger collection, Darwinism: Critical Reviews from Dublin Review, Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review)
  • Angell, J.R. The Evolution of Intellegence by (part of a larger collection, The Evolution of Man: A Series of Lectures Delivered before the Yale Chapter of the Sigma XI during the Academic Year 1921-1922)

Book Chapters


Angell, James Rowland. (1907). The province of functional psychology. Psychological Review, 14, 61-91. Full text

Further reading

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